Russian lawmakers mount fierce defence of Michael Flynn

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway struggled to respond to questions regarding Michael Flynn's abrupt resignation Monday night as national security adviser, brushing aside reports that the White House had been warned of Flynn's suspicious talks with Russian Federation weeks ago.

Flynn's decision to step down from his post follows mounting controversy over a Washington Post story alleging that he discussed easing sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office.

Earlier, US media reported that the Justice Department had warned the White House about the contacts late last month.

Such conversations would breach diplomatic protocol and possibly violate the Logan Act, a law aimed at keeping private citizens from conducting USA diplomacy.

When asked that same question by ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday morning, Conway replied that Stephanopoulos was "presuming all of the information" in the Washington Post article was "completely factual".

"I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology", Flynn said in his resignation letter.

Citing one person "with knowledge of the situation", AP said Justice noted discrepancies between officials' public words and what had happened and was "concerned Flynn could be in a compromised position".

Kosachev also expressed frustration with the Trump administration. In 2015, Mr. Flynn was paid to attend a gala dinner for Russia Today, a Kremlin-backed television station, and sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the event.

"Grave questions have been raised about the fitness of Gen. Flynn to serve as national security advisor and to continue having access to classified information", the lawmakers wrote.

"So the White House did not give you anything to say..."

Slutsky called the forced resignation "provocative" and that Flynn had been targeted to harm "Russia-US relations, undermining confidence in the new US administration", he said. "It is hard to imagine a more serious list of allegations for our committee to investigate".

"Washington, D.C. can be a rough town for honorable people, and Flynn - who has always been a soldier, not a politician - deserves America's gratitude and respect for dedicating so much of his life to strengthening our national security", Nunes said.

Flynn came under severe scrutiny last week after it was revealed that he had spoken to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump's inauguration.

Mr. Flynn sat in the front row of the president's news conference at the with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House Monday afternoon.

When asked about those reports the next day, Trump replied that he was "not aware" of them and that he would "look into" it.

  • Leroy Wright